All posts by Andrew

Teaching Project 12

For my teaching project I presented to the baseball team and coaches in the classroom located in the locker room.  My topic was homelessness, using the “causes of homelessness” slide from class as a basis to discuss the realities of homelessness. I wanted to see what stereotypes they have heard about homeless people, and what they think is being done to help combat the issue.  Keying them in on what is really going on, what they think can be done, and what they can do themselves to help.  Giving them insights from my internship at Redlands Family Services, to show them just how organizations work and what goes on within them.  I wanted to give them a clear cut view of what homeless people go through and show my audience what the homeless are actually looking for and trying to get.  Which is affordable housing; the reason why all the homeless and less unfortunate have been going to (RFS) to become clients.  Yes that’s right you have to be a client to receive any help from (RFS).  It’s things like this that I want to expose because organizations supposedly are doing all these things to help but don’t say what is required of you to get help and how many people are turned down still looking for help.  With people putting so many stereotypes and “sin talking” the homeless, trying to find any and every way to rid of the homeless in their area.  Instead of being open minded, courteous, and sympathetic to a huge epidemic that effects everyday people like you and me.  Students, college graduates, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, family, and friends that aren’t all druggies, or mentally ill, just can’t afford the cost of living.  Due to society putting so much pressure on people to keep up in all facets of life, and inflation causing prices to skyrocket.  The reality of the situation has been hidden underneath false truths, and false realities, which I am trying to rid of.  I feel like that’s what this whole class has been about; discovering the truth and finding a way to teach and show others what actually needs to be done to fix this homelessness problem.  That’s what I was doing here with the team, breaking those stereotypes, letting them know how homelessness started, has continued, and what our government and cities are doing.  That way they know the truth and can take it upon themselves to to help others and expose others to the truth, so we can continue to help/fix the problem.  In presenting I tried to emphasize that their is a lot we don’t know and a lot we can do.  I hope that they understood the severity of the situation as I explained to them.  It’s crazy to think how many people are misinformed or know next to nothing about the homeless situation.  Something which I learned from my encounter with my teammates, along with the fact that they have all been mislead and heard stereotypes that put a negative connotation on homeless people.  So there’s a lot of work to be done, to enlighten people on homelessness

providing Perspective 9

This week we were lucky enough to have some people off the streets, come into class and talk about the homeless situation.  They gave plenty of insight and brought light to the reality that homeless people face.  Being homeless allows them to give us an inside to the otherwise outside based dilemma that homelessness has become.  Giving their opinions on what they believe should be done to combat this issue, and what is being done.  People keep assuming things, which is why our homeless problem has gotten so out of hand.  You have to listen to the people; help where you can and adapt to what is available.  Finding or creating affordable housing is what needs to be done, according to real homeless people.  Yet we still are struggling to get approval because city’s and towns don’t want to have the homeless around.  To that I say stop being selfish and get over yourself, their are only positive effects when we help our own kind.  You’ll come to learn about yourself, and the people on the streets who might just be like you, but have been stigmatized by society and looked down upon.  We are the ones that can change this cycle and get people the help they need so we have a more efficient running society.  It’s time we start listening to the people effected by these rather crappy situations, so that we can address the problems at the root.

Shots Fired 8

This week presenting my book presentation and hearing my classmates presentation gave a lot of light into our homeless situation.  One which has been greatly overlooked by the people and our government.  We have let homelessness drag on now for years and years, never understanding the severity of homelessness.  Even when the homeless are human beings, like me and you that didn’t make the quota.  Doesn’t mean they’re any less important, just means that they need help, and we need to help them.  There would be so many more homeless on the streets if there weren’t people helping out one another.  Many would-be-homeless are lucky to have a friend or family member that can help them figure out their situation.  It is those that don’t have that person to lean on that become homeless and when talking to the homeless at RFS, it is clear that programs and organizations aren’t doing enough.  Or make it to hard/complicating for the homeless or would be homeless to put the pieces of their life together.  There are so many qualifications needed to get assistance at RFS alone and I know other places aren’t much better.  Yet it’s not all their fault, city councils don’t do much to assist them in their efforts.  With officers picking up homeless and taking them to different districts so that it’s no longer their problem or the cities.  Turning down programs that would provide affordable housing, and get many people off the street.  Just to please a few heavy hearted people that don’t want to have the less wealthy in their area, saying things like “their site is unpleasing”, but if city councils allowed for the development of affordable housing- there wouldn’t be those “unpleasant sites” on the street.  So talk to your city councils and get them to start approving building affordable housing, so we can get these human beings in homes!!!

Just Facts 7

The homeless count just keeps going up, yet we still aren’t solving this huge problem in our societies.  Learning about the “half-hearted” effort being put into counting our homeless before is sad, because it is a problem that could have already been addressed with extreme care and  attention.  Finding affordable housing is still a struggle, and when it is found it’s usually far away from the job we need to afford the housing.  Yet again we don’t try and lower the prices, we raise them instead because of how greedy society has become.  As I’ve stated before, there is enough money in the world held by the one percent alone, too end homelessness three times over; and still have money left over.  Society has evolved with technology, becoming consumed with appearance and status, all the while losing their sense of humanity.  Losing sight of what makes us one and brings us together in unity as one common people.  Just to get likes on a social media post or to rack up our money to afford the life that we think we want because of social media.  Inflated cost of goods as well as all living needs are absurd, and resulting in a lot more hungry families besides homeless.  I just want to know when city people are going to stop being so selfish, and allow organization and other service providers to help the homeless in the areas they are in.  No more moving the homeless back & forth, city to city, and hoping the next city will solve the problem.  The only way anything will get done is if we take action and are allowed to take action.  Only sad thing is, we shouldn’t need to ask or have permission to better the economy and the people like us, that just had the short end of the stick.

The Little Things 6

This spring break has so hectic because of baseball.  We legit spent all our time either at the field or at the indoor facility we hit at when it rains.  Which got me to thinking about all the help I’ve gotten, in order to be where I am at.  We feel a moral obligation to help children, so they can become outstanding citizens in our communities but we need to feel this way about everyone who needs help,  especially the homeless and less fortunate.  Our baseball team was going to throw away food and drinks that were still good, so I took it all so it wouldn’t go to waste.  Which is something a lot of people and families do-waste food.  It has become an epidemic and yet we still haven’t done anything.  RFS were I intern, has lost their funding for food and have been relying on people bringing in goods/food.  They have one lady that has been coming in everyday and makes food from home to bring, however, she suffered a heart attack and hasn’t been there.  So as you can imagine, it’s been a little rough.  The drinks and food I brought will go to good use and help the people we feed get through their day.  It’s hard to survive out here with prices being so expensive, making people have to weigh their options more than ever.  Deciding whether they rather have a place to sleep or food in their stomach and with it being so rainy & cold lately, situations have gotten even more serious.  Shop owners don’t want or let anyone looking homeless to stay around their shops, so finding a place to stay warm and dry is difficult and shapes their decision as to were their money goes.  That’a why not wasting food, and feeding the people in need is so important.  No family or person should go unfed when they are trying to make ends meet.  We need to pick up or societies and communities, that way our economy can flourish.

From my Home(My Heart) 5

Where I am from you will see homeless people everywhere and it’s a really sad scene. Having been one of those kids thats had to have their friends family feed and take care of them, I know how hard it is for families to make the cut. Things are a lot more expensive now a days and with a surplus of people in the world as well as entering the work force, there’s now a lot more homeless and struggling people/ families.  Whether they got there because of little affordable housing, drug use, mental illness or parental/social factors; we need to find ways to help them out.  Creating jobs and spaces for people to get their lives together and find the help they may need.  So many people have money that could be put to use to better the economy and peoples lives.  The government wastes so much on things  that are either over funded or have no real value to the citizens, we even shut down the government we costs its citizens.  This year under Trump we lost around 11 billion dollars shutting down the government and are funding 3.2 billion dollars towards building a wall.  Money which could be going towards helping the economy and getting people on their feet.  The funding should go to getting people off the streets, food in their stomach, and a roof over their head.  Everyone should have these simple necessities, and not have to be worrying day to day if things are going to be okay.  Working for Redlands Family Services(RFS) and taking from my own life has really showed me just how significant a little help can go,  along with how much of a difference it can make in someones life.  Life’s already hard as it is and when we dehumanize homeless people, we dehumanize ourselves because they aren’t just like us, they are one of us. So next time your thinking about disrespecting someone homeless or in need, think twice and if your scared that they’re going to use it for drugs. Which is the common stereotype that people believe, and is something people turn to when living on the streets because of its harsh reality, but if that the case buy them food.  I’m sure you can spare a dollar or two, or learn about ways you can help them find help so they can seek it themselves, anything & everything helps.  I hate seeing kids have to come in super early to get food at RFS or on the streets begging.  We need to be building our communities up, not tearing them down.

Just have to make it a Reality! 4

This week I was in Texas for baseball, so I decided to look at what kinds of shelters where around my area.  To my surprise there were a lot of places that homeless people could get help but if you looked at the homeless count here you’d realize that 32% of homelessness here is chronic.  2018 research found out that the homeless population was rising in Austin, Texas.  According to kxan.com, the city is spending more than 33 million dollars to combat homelessness.  With 2,147 people experiencing homelessness, they say 1,014 people are living on the streets unsheltered and that’s just the numbers that have been documented.  I’m sure there are plenty others that are not accounted for.  It’s crazy to see just how severe homelessness is everywhere, not just in our cities in California.  One of the things that struck me was kxan talking about the federal government, saying that the federal government should be funding programs that help the homeless.  They have the money and it would better our economy if we did help.  It sucks to see so many homeless, and organizations such as Redlands Family Services that I intern for lose funding.  Especially when the government has money that could go towards getting people off the street and getting them the help they need.  Whether that be mental, physical, a job, clothes, or food; we need to be funding and creating programs, organizations, and jobs that can combine all the needs for homeless and the less fortunate together.  Creating a way for the homeless and less fortunate to help themselves all in one place would do the economy a great service, because it would give them a job to make money to support and buy themselves necessities, get the mental and/or physical help they might need, plus clothe and feed them all at the same place.  They would be able to relate and help each other out, with the help of supervisors and other medical care physicians that would make sure everything goes smoothly.  Stepping in whenever there’s a real problem or situations that need to be addressed.  We just have to make it a reality because its implications would be tremendous  for the economy as a whole.

This week in homelessness 3

This week in class we discussed the books that we were assigned. Each one talking about life for the homeless and the things they go through. In my book “Grand Central Winter” by Lee Stringer, it talks about his specific life story of homelessness. Now not everyones path to homelessness is the same or life in homelessness, but there are similarities in them. Whether it be how they got there or the treatment they receive while being homeless. These insights from readings give us perspective and allow us to see at least a glimpse of the day in the life of a homeless person. Which can help us better combat the situations they may face and help them get out. At my internship for Redlands Family Services, I have been talking to this pastor about finding ways to better use American money to combat homelessness instead of wasting it on things that don’t better the American economy. He had many great ideas but at the end of the day we kept coming back to the same thing, “you need funding”. Even RFS now is running into trouble, with their funding deal running out, they will be having a hard time feeding the homeless here in Redlands. Same goes for a lot of places, funding for homeless agencies has been few and hard to come by. That’s why these readings are really important, they humanize homeless people and allow people to sympathize with them.  Leading to more people funding and finding help for homelessness, which is desperately needed.

Misinformed and Mistreated 2

After watching the film Taylor’s campaign” in class, I  was able to see the lengths in which officials and cities  would go to rid of the homeless instead of addressing the problem.  So many times in the film law enforcement and city peers would misinform and mislead the homeless.  Telling them things like they can’t be in certain area’s, and giving them tickets and such for things like shopping carts & dumpster diving.  Sending them to jail to spend the night and constantly harassing them on things like open containers when they are just recycling.  The city is just as bad, they get rid of grass and all kinds of things to push the homeless out.  I would have hated to be homeless in that time, although it is still bad, treatment is a lot better because of cameras and cellular devices always recording everyones actions.  However, cities do still try and push the homeless out and with not enough space to house them, they end up getting no help and struggling to survive.  Yet we want to spend billions to build a wall that in the long run and short run do little good.  With that money we can help the homeless, mentally & physically ill, and war veterans get jobs.  Along with getting them help that would have short term and long term benefits, such as cleaning up the streets and allowing those on the streets to make lives for themselves.  As well as fixing the public educational system so that the future group can be prosperous, fixing the health care system, and fixing the roads so that there can be fewer accidents. America in general has to improve in so many ways but they limit their options and much rather build a wall then address the problems here.

Insights on a crude world 1

After going through this weeks readings, it is easy to see why things are so hard for the “working class” and “working poor”.  Especially feeling like I am from these classes, a lot of what they say resinates with me.  In the first reading “To Poor to Make the News” it says they are trying to squeeze everyone into a single great class called the Nouveau poor, but the “already poor”, weren’t taken into consideration.  Which are said to be the 20 to 30% who struggle in the best of times, and why many Americans believe “the “economy” as a shared condition, is a fiction”.  “Nickel and Dimed” the book is a testament to the harsh realities us lower class folks have to deal with.  Effecting peoples morals and what they are willing to do to get by and sustain a so-called life.  Stories like Peg (55 years old) taking care of her disabled daughter and two grandchildren, only to fall behind on her mortgage payments because of a heart attack that caused her to miss work are heartbreaking.  Luckily she had family to help her out, but it wasn’t even a house mortgage she needed help with.  It was just a “single-wide trailer” fitting  four people.  When asked how she deals with it she says “I just stay in my room”, which I relate to especially because I have an apartment I would stay out of and me & my boy would sleep in the living room of this small two bedroom apartment.  While Setty my close friend and her mom had the two rooms but would share with other friends and or their significant other, and Setty’s mom never left the room because it was always crowded.  Figuring out who would be buying groceries for that month and if we ran out we ran out, and made do with what was left.  The less stuff we had the less time that was spent at the apartment because we had to work to feed ourselves and pay the bills, doing whatever we had to in order to make ends meet.

In this same article it says there was no room for the “so called unskilled”, with “blue collar unemployment increasing three times as fast as white collar”.  Sending all the money to the already wealthy or well-off, making it “brunt being born by the blue collar class”.  Since all focus went to middle class, wall street, and main street, even though it’s the “people on the backstreets really struggling.  Leading people to job practices like stripping to make money and going to food auctions to get food already “past sell-by date”.  Pushing people towards alternatives like becoming vegan and hunting, that may not be suitable for a pregnant women for instance.  Lose of white collar jobs also led to doubling up, tripling up, and renting to couch surfers, to make ends meet.  People don’t want to talk about their situations, making it  “hard to get firm number of overcrowding”, because we don’t acknowledge census takers, as not to get into any kind of trouble with the law or housing personal/management. Yet overcrowding is what keeps lots of families afloat, and not spending 50, 60, or even 70% of their income on rent alone.  I am really outraged at how fucked up our system is that, they make it harder for lower class persons to create a sustainable living system that would otherwise make living easier for them by making laws were the rent can be raised based solely upon how many people live within the residence.  Which is why their are lots of families that have to hide that they’re providing a living space for others because they can barely afford the price as is.  Which is the whole reason why people have to double and triple up to provide a living space for themselves.  Besides all the jobs that would be high paying jobs being sent to third world countries.

So now when we get to the second article “This is why poor people’s bad decisions make perfect sense”, we can see the mindset and what has led the lower class to act and be the way they are.  If you were to go to the ghetto or somewhere by were I grew up and lived, one could conduct random observations that would help give insist on the thought processes of lower class civilians.  Like it says in the article we understand the academic problems of poverty but don’t understand why, yet I feel any person with common knowledge could tell you that the learning experiences I and many other poverty ridden kids got is far different from those of higher class.  Which alone could be seen in how transfer kids from private schools saw the schools I went to when they transferred because of their parent’s moving for work or for cheaper/better housing that was created to kick the poor out so landowners could make more money.  Every kid that came from a private school, that I encountered would talk about how easy school, or how different it was compared to their old school, because unlike now the schools they went to had everything.  So when Bush’s law no kid left behind passed it caused kids to miss out on information and education that would push their academic mind to be better.  Unlike the private schools that were able to provide everything necessary to learning the curriculum at hand.  So us regular folk learned on the streets, what makes money, how to make money, and where to make money to better their life and their families because thats mainly what families pushed froward in their kids minds.  Leading to gang banging, drug dealing, and all around finessing of whatever was needed.  Now I’m not going to say it’s all bad because here I am writing this blog for a college course I’m taking and nothing can replace the knowledge I’ve gained on the streets, but a life like mine is not one I’d wish upon any kid.  However I am grateful for the life lessons I have gained, through the streets and sports that have kept me and many other minorities out of trouble by being the life pushed at us in order to succeed.  The funniest thing about it all is that these higher class individuals don’t even know basic essentials to living.  In college alone I have met so many people that couldn’t tell me what a washer or dryer was, how to wash clothes or dishes, how to make any sort of food, or how to be resourceful at all.  Yet we want to say these kids are smarter than me, when they couldn’t even take care of themselves; and they want to talk about equality.  Equality the hours I had to put into practicing everyday, working, and taking care of my family as a kid.  You wonder why our society is like this but it’s really space dab in your face, you just don’t want to realize it, or choose to ignore because of how separated these classes are.  Like the story told in this article their are many families that will never experience a vacation, while I have classmates that spend money like it literally grows on trees, “rest in luxury for the rich”.  You want to make someone my boss, give them all the money to see scraps when I get paid, even though people like me are the ones putting in the real work.  Sitting atop their castles, looking down on lower class civilians getting mad about “poor people recreating, but judge abortion even harder